‘MVA owed $7.33M in HOT share as of March’

‘Future MVA signature events are underway’

As of March 31, 2021, the Marianas Visitors Authority is owed about $7.33 million of its share in the Hotel Occupancy Tax, according to MVA managing director Priscilla M. Iakopo.

For the second quarter of fiscal year 2021, MVA did not receive any remittance from the Department of Finance for its share of the Hotel Occupancy Tax, she added.

Iakopo discussed MVA’s HOT share in the tourism body’s second quarter report for fiscal year 2021 dated May 10, 2021. She submitted the report to Senate President Jude U. Hofschneider (R-Tinian) and House Speaker Edmund S. Villagomez (Ind-Saipan).

Iakopo said the FY 2021 Budget Act appropriates $2.1 million for the MVA—an 84% reduction from the original FY 2020 Budget Act. This year’s budget provides $526,181 for personnel and the remaining $1,671,230 for all others.

She noted that MVA continues to implement drastic cuts on various programs and services outlined in a Feb. 4, 2021, but MVA has been able to reopen its Japan office with limited activity on Feb. 1, 2021.

In cooperation with the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. and the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force, MVA has relaunched one of its signature events—the 17th Annual Tinian Hot Pepper Festival, which took place on Feb. 13-14, 2021, Iakopo said.

She said the event highlighted the success of the Marianas in preventing the spread of COVID-19 through strong policies and community cooperation.

“Future signature events are underway, as the importance of promoting the CNMI through signature events are one of many marketing strategies that attract visitors,” Iakopo said.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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